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Does a winning Bears team help Chicago housing prices?

Rooting for the Chicago Bears to have a winning season? You should, even if you don’t care about football or the NFL.

At least that’s according to a recent story in the Chicago Tribune.

The story takes a look at a recent study showing that cities with winning football teams tend to have healthier populations and stronger real estate markets.

The study looked at the success of football teams and how it related to a city’s population growth and home values. According to the study, four of the five cities whose football teams went from a losing record in 2010 to a winning record a year later saw average home sales prices increase between 2010 and 2011.

Then there is population growth: The study found that after the Packers won the Super Bowl, the city of Green Bay saw its population increase 1.7 percent in 2011. In Pittsburgh, where the hometown Steelers lost that Super Bowl game to the Packers, the city’s population increased 0.6 percent.

The study found that losing wasn’t good for a city’s health. For instance, when the Indianapolis Colts’ record fell from 10-6 in 2010 to 2-14 in 2011, Indianapolis’ home sales fell by 19.8 percent.

Of course, the study is hardly scientific. It’s actually a bit tongue-in-cheek. There are several factors that impact housing prices and population growth in cities across the country. But I will say this, Chicago’s sports teams — whether they’re winning or losing — help cement the city’s reputation as a world-class city.

And people want to live in these kinds of cities, ones that boast professional sports teams, eclectic restaurants, busy shopping districts, plenty of entertainment and diverse neighborhoods. Chicago has all of this. And, yes, the sports teams help.

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